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Census shows drop in foreign nationals living in Mayo


Anton McNulty

The number of foreign nationals living in Mayo has declined by seven percent in the last five years but Ballyhaunis remains the most multi-cultural town in Ireland.
The latest 2016 Census figures released by the Central Statistic Office revealed that there are 12,835 non-Irish nationals living in Mayo which comprised ten percent of the county’s population. The figure was down 962 or seven percent compared to five years previously.
The Census also revealed that 39.5 percent of the town of Ballyhaunis is made up of non-Irish residents which makes it the town with the highest proportion of non-Irish national residents in the country.
The town is the location of the Direct Provision Centre where asylum seekers are housed while their applications are processed and home to a number of nationalities from around the world. Ballyhaunis, has a total population of 2,383 and has a non-Irish national population of 941.
Nationally, the Census showed that there were 535,475 non-Irish nationals living in the country, a 1.6 percent decrease on the 2011 figure of 544,357. They came from 200 different nations and Polish nationals were the largest group with 122,515 persons followed by 103,113 UK nationals and 36,552 Lithuanians.
In Mayo, UK nationals made up the largest non-Irish nationals group with 5,161, while the 2,802 Polish nationals comprised the second largest grouping. Together, these accounted for 62 percent of all non-Irish nationals resident in the county. Lithuanian, Latvian and US nationals completed the top five non-Irish nationalities and collectively comprised 13.9 percent of the county’s non-Irish national population.
In the year prior to Census 2016, some 1,589 people moved into the county, an increase of 423 or 36.3 percent, compared with the year prior to the 2011 census. Of these, 1,019 or 64.1 percent were born outside of the country.